Working with an out of state landlord / tenant attorney

7 Replies


I've recently started searching for a landlord / tenant attorney to develop a working relationship with. I've done some research and am in the process of setting up a couple of meetings. The attorney that sounds the best to me on paper recently moved out of state with his wife t be closer to their children.

He maintains an office and secretary in my town, and says that, generally, most landlords are able to handle issues that ultimately end up in court just fine themselves after some coaching.

Have any of you worked with an out of state attorney? Are there any drawbacks of working with a remote attorney that I may not be considering?


@Anthony Capozzi I think initially if this attorney comes highly recommend and you like him the best out of all you have interview then he can most likley guide you through the maze of leases, laws, hearings etc...

Once you grow your portfolio you may want someone there with there in town. 

One thing you may want to consider is local expertise. For instance, I’m an attorney licensed in MN and WI, but I do 95% of my work on MN matters. When a WI matter comes up, I need to do extra research to refresh myself on WI law. It makes it so that I can’t usually offer flat fees on WI matters the way

(Sorry posted too early) ... I can with many MN matters. A local attorney with experience could conceivably save you time (and therefore $$). And if you need to appear in court (at least most official state courts; not sure about local housing court requirements) you’ll need someone with a license in that state.

Thanks for your thoughts @Tim Joyce

The attorney I'm thinking of working with is licensed in NH and practiced his whole career here - he's just made a recent move to the West coast. 

I'm not concerned about his knowledge re: NH real estate lawyer, but rather more practical matters of working with a remote representative. 

For example, is the attorney's ability to appear in court critical, or is coaching from a knowledgeable attorney for self representation really the thing that's important. 

@Anthony Capozzi For that scenario, my expertise worry is definitely way less. If you self-represent in court, I would assume you'd still be paying for his time to coach you? Could get pricey, as it's almost certainly less efficient that him just appearing for you. That said, I would think only evictions and small claims court things are the ones where you'd need someone in person. For most of the purchase/negotiation/entity work, that can be done very capably even remotely. And, I know in some parts of MN a landlord must have an attorney when in housing court. Not sure if NH is that way too, so something else to think about. (if he's really that experienced, he should probably be able to tell you - for free - whether you'd want boots on the ground)

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